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Locals Prepare for Halloween Season

By Aaryn Frazier, September 14, 2018

The official first day of fall is September 22, but local businesses, officials and schools are already planning ahead for Halloween.

Ottumwa Police announced that Trick or Treat Night is set for 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday. October 31. The police also urge caution for parents, motorists, and homeowners alike. Since the sunset is now beginning earlier, parents should accompany their children if possible, homeowners should eliminate tripping hazards in the walkways and porches, and motorists should exercise caution and watch for children.

If there is concern about walking house to house, Ottumwa YMCA is hosting a trunk or treat their October Family Fun Week this year. From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. the trunks will be set up and decorated for safe trick or treating. Then continue into their Discovery Lane Early Learning Center for our fall festival walk through a Fairy Wonderland, and finish out the night in the Youth Zone with all kinds of family fun activities. For a full list of events through the week visit:

Whether families intend to trick or treat or not, there will be other Halloween activities throughout the month like Halloweenapalooza Friday, October 12 from 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday, October 13 from noon to midnight. There will be movies, contests and a Zombie Walk sponsored by Ottumwa Radio. Most events are located in or around Hotel Ottumwa.

For those wanting to be more active throughout the Halloween season, there will be a history walk themed to the holiday. Pioneer Ridge is also having their Halloween Hikes on October 12 and 13 to learn about Animal Oddities for only three dollars a person, and free to children three and under. According to Annette Whitrock ***, hikes leave the nature center every 10 minutes from 6-8pm  Guests can learn about the duck billed platypus, aardvark, clawed frog, blobfish and others. Following the hike there will be cookies, hot chocolate and games in the basement of the nature center. To reserve a time, call the nature center starting 1 October at 641-682-3091. Reservations can also be made via email to with your requested time. A name, phone number and amount of guests must be left with reservations.

Wapello County and surrounding communities will have updates and additional information the closer Halloween comes.

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